Kiwi are especially attractive to dogs, they have a strong distinctive irresistible smell. Because they live on the ground and don’t fly, kiwi can’t escape a dog. Some dogs seek kiwi out and can kill off a whole population one-by-one. Other dogs may just grab a kiwi because they’re curious about what it is, but this will still kill the bird, breaking its ribs and causing internal injuries. Even soft-mouthed dogs do fatal damage because kiwi don’t have a breastbone. Although most kiwi shelter during the day, that doesn’t mean they are safely tucked away from dogs in a long burrow. Some daytime shelters may simply be under Nikau or fern fronds, or in a clump of pampas or bracken. You may think your dog is after possums, but it could be chasing kiwi. When in or near kiwi country always keep all dogs tied up or caged at night.

If you must take your dog into kiwi country:

  • Make sure it’s obedient and trained when a pup to leave all birds alone.
  • Feed it well so it’s not hungry.
  • Consider getting it branded, microchipped or ear tattooed in case it gets lost.

If hunting in or near kiwi country:

  • Don’t take dogs that wander off or hunt at long range.
  • Use radio tracking collars on all dogs if possible.
  • Never use dogs for night hunting, as kiwi are most active then.
  • Take a small pack of proven, reliable dogs, not lots of inexperienced dogs.

Any dog no matter what breed whether big or small is capable of killing kiwi!

Kiwi Aversion Training Day

The first Kiwi Aversion Training Day at Tawapou in 2016 was a huge success with 49 dogs from the Tutukaka Coast put through the avoidance training programme by Tom Donovan with the help of his wife Karina.

As dogs need to be re-trained to make sure it keeps remembering to avoid kiwi we hope to have ongoing training days. The certificate the dog gets on its first training day is valid for up to 12 months, it must be re-tested after this. If still avoiding kiwi, it can then be certified for up to two years before a re-test is required.

Our next training day is planned for Sunday 20th August 2017. For more info or to register, please email Sandra Bowden.